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Suspended Solids

( Article Type: Explanation )

Suspended solids are solids that are found in water and usually originate from soil washed down a river or pollution from industry released into storm water drains. They reflect light and this can result in the water quality deteriorating because organisms cannot photosynthesise effectively. This results in a drop in oxygen and the water begins to stagnate. Fish and other creatures can suffocate through a shortage of oxygen. When fertilisers are washed off the land they can stay in the water as suspended solids. Suspended solid levels can be limited by preventing pollution from entering rivers, by practising good farming methods so excess fertilisers do not run off the land into the rivers, and also by preventing soil erosion.

Suspended solids are a natural occurrence but human activities can contribute substantially to increased levels of suspended solids, which will have an overall negative effect on water quality. It is particularly important to ensure that industrial effluents are properly treated before being discharged into sewers and watercourses, to reduce the levels of suspended solids, thus preventing deterioration of water quality.